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God's Gospel Lizards: Creationist Group to Educate Kansas Public School Students on the "Truth About Dinosaurs"

Heather L. Weaver,
Senior Staff Attorney,
ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief
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April 19, 2013

Students at Hugoton High School in Hugoton, Kansas, are set to finally learn the “truth about dinosaurs” next week—at least the truth as the Creation Truth Foundation sees it. The religious organization, which advocates for “a return to all of [the] realities of Biblical Creation,” is scheduled to conduct several mandatory school-day assemblies about dinosaurs for all students and teachers on Tuesday. The ACLU of Kansas & Western Missouri and the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief learned about the planned assembly yesterday afternoon and sent a letter today demanding that the public school district cancel the event.

The “truths” about dinosaurs that the Foundation claims to reveal include, among others:

  • “Most scientists claim that the T. Rex lived over 65 million years ago. However, there is evidence that there were Tyrannosaurs living fewer than 100,000 years ago.”
  • “God made dinosaurs, or land dwelling reptiles on day six. These are just lizards. I call them God’s Gospel Lizards.”
  • “God created these creatures along with other land dwelling creatures on day six and they lived with men.”
  • “It is possible that a few of these creatures [dinosaurs] could [still] exist.”
  • “Dinosaurs aren’t mysterious, strange creatures. They are creatures that God created to help Adam and Eve and they did until Adam sinned.”

In short, the “truths” exposed by the Creation Truth Foundation are based on nothing more than personal religious beliefs and pseudo-science, rejected by the scientific community. And the Foundation promulgates these beliefs in service of its crusade against the scientific theory of evolution, which it dubs “the greatest deception of all time.” According to the Foundation, “Darwinian evolutionism has overthrown, in the name of science, the dominance of the Bible (creation in particular) as the foundation of America’s world view” and “America’s only hope . . . [is] for the Bible believing public of our land to awaken to the reality of a true Biblical faith.”

While the Creation Truth Foundation and its employees are entitled to hold those religious views, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits public school officials from giving creationist groups a stage to promote such beliefs to students. That is an indisputable, constitutional truth. School officials would be wise to heed it.

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